Call Center Versus. Contact Center: What’s the Difference?

a woman talking on a cell phone
Share this Article 

As a business owner, you want to make sure you’re meeting your clients’ needs, but it may be hard to find the best way to do so. You want to make sure your customers have a place to contact when they have a problem that needs to be fixed. You’ve probably heard of both call centers and contact centers, but which should you choose and what is the difference? Here’s what you need to know about call centers and contact centers.

What is a call center?

A call center is what most likely first comes to mind when discussing outsourcing contact with customers. In a call center, agents take phone calls from clients or customers who need their problems solved. You as the business owner are able to partner with the call center to provide this service for your customers, which helps relieve strain on your business. Your customers have a dedicated place to call, and the agents are hired specifically to meet your clients’ needs.

A call center might be international or based in the United States. A call center can also offer just inbound services, meaning they only answer calls, or they can offer outbound services, which would allow them to cold call people on your behalf. No matter where it is or what types of services it offers, a call center is typically restricted to just communication by phone.

What is a contact center?

A contact center, on the other hand, offers much more than just phone calls (which may become outdated shortly anyway). Call center software allows your agents to create a contact center. A contact center can address clients’ needs in various ways. Your customers will be able to send emails or text messages, video chat, or webchat. Callers will also be able to switch among modes of communication, which means they won’t have to worry about being interrupted or running out of time and starting over with a new agent. Your customers can ask a question through text message, then switch to phone call to better explain the situation, then switch to email so they can continue with their busy lives.

Contact centers also work digitally, which means your agents are able to work from wherever they like. This helps you to employ the best possible people without being limited by location. Your agents are also much more likely to continue working in the contact center when they are able to work from home. An agent desktop is also an incredible tool offered by the contact center that helps the agent stay organized and access the entire history of a caller. Your agents and your callers will be thrilled with everything the contact center has to offer.

So what’s the difference?

Obviously, the biggest difference between a call center and a contact center is that a contact center allows customers to have their problems solved in a number of ways. The contact center isn’t limited to just phone calls. Agents are able to interact with clients through text message, video chat, and email. For the 1 million deaf people in America, having an accessible way to reach a contact center is invaluable. All of your clients, regardless of who they are or what they’re experiencing, will be able to contact your center and have their problems solved. This creates a better experience for your customers, which means they’re more likely to continue working with your business.

Ultimately, contact centers benefit the customers, the center agents, and your business. There’s no reason not to choose a contact center for your clients.